Summary: Our exersize of Christian freedom is directly related to what other has taught us about what God is like.
Christian Freedom – What kind of God?
Here at the first of the year we are working through a short series of messages related to the topic of Christian freedom. Last week we talked about how our American citizenship gives us amazing freedoms and rights but they are limited by other people’s freedom and rules of our free society. We also considered New Year’s resolutions and how they point to ways that we might identify places that we have made ourselves slaves to things in our lives. Loosing weight, debt, and all kinds of choices that we resolve to try to break bad habits – things that control us.. Some of those desires and habits limit our Christian freedom.
Weather you have put in on paper or not you probably have a list of life questions that you are always looking for answers too. Perhaps things that make you go hum…
I have a list of questions that you may be searching for the answer too and not even realize it.
Before they invented drawing boards, what did they go back to?
Can fat people go skinny-dipping?
Can you get cavities in your dentures if you use too much artificial sweetener?
Day light savings time - why are they saving it and where do they keep it?
Do fish get thirsty?
Do hummingbirds hum because they don’t know the words?
Do vegetarians eat animal crackers?
Why do irons have a setting for "permanent" press?
How can you tell when it is time to tune your bagpipes?
Did Noah keep his bees in archives?
Those are silly and fun questions that if we ever get and answer too them we will file it away into our minds and find some small personal satisfaction just for ourselves.
But there are bigger and more important questions that lie just under the surface of our minds and perhaps deep in our hearts.
Oddly enough most of us will never really sit down and search for the answer directly and most of us never feel free to speak them aloud. Therefore they are left open and unanswered.
- On top of our list of life questions I believe thinking people need to ask is about God and if He exist. It is surprising to me that many people never even consider the topic or just accepts what other people, parents or culture, tells them about God.
This is important for one simple reason: If God exists then that means He is in charge. If he is in charge it becomes important for us to know what God wants or doesn’t want from us the creation. Because, if He is in charge; we are not.
However, If God does not exist, then we are the ones in control over every decision and choice and opportunity. If there is no God, then we live only once and we might as well make the best of this life that we can. Because … when we die it is all over.
Can you see how your personal understanding of God can make a big difference in your personal freedom?
So this is where we are starting this morning. This message is for people that would say that they are Christians. People that have declared that they believe in the existence of God and as a result receive the gift of Christian freedom. Last week I pointed out that gift boils down to a simple choice. Choosing to live a life that tries to be righteous and good or choosing a life if sin – both limit freedom in different ways.
If you are not there(have not made any decisions about God) then this teaching is not going to be very helpful to you. Because, you don’t have the freedom as defined by Jesus and Paul and others in the Bible. But, we are glad you are hear and perhaps you can examine the basic question about God’s existence and your reaction for yourself today.
I suspect that the majority of people here this morning would say that they are Christians which admits the existence of God. That leads me to the next logical question…. What is God like?
The things we understand and believe about God control how freely we live our lives.
Almost all the things that we, Christians do to remain bound or imprisoned or limit our freedom ultimately is filtered through what “we believe” God is like.
If the non-believing world watched Christians to try to learn about God, they would most likely not come to the conclusion that faith in God offers believers any Freedom.
In fact they are likely to assume just the opposite; because of what Christians put themselves through. They might think that God is opposed to laughter and that He creates a maze of rules and regulations. They are likely to think that God is always serious and judgmental and harsh. Because that is how many Christians live.